The Bowling Green State University women's basketball team was ruthlessly efficient at both ends of the floor on Sunday afternoon (Feb. 9), rolling along to a 91-45 win over Miami University. The Mid-American Conference game was held at the Stroh Center.
With the win, the Falcons improved to 20-3 on the year, and BGSU is now 10-1 in MAC play. BG has won 20 games for the 11th consecutive season, extending the school and conference records. The RedHawks drop to 7-15 overall and 3-8 in the MAC.
BG spotted the visitors a quick 3-0 lead, as Hannah Robertson hit a three-point field goal just nine seconds into the game. But, redshirt sophomore Erica Donovan answered with a triple at the other end, beginning a 21-0 run for the Falcons. After that initial three-ball, Miami did not score for the next 7:05.
As if that 21-point run was not enough, the Falcons had a 16-0 run later in the opening half to take a commanding 43-9 lead.
Senior Jillian Halfhill had a game-high 17 points to pace four Falcons in double digits on the day. Donovan had 14 points, while junior Jasmine Matthews scored 13 and sophomore Miriam Justinger 12.
Both Halfhill and Justinger were perfect on the day, as Halfhill was 5-of-5 from the field, including 4-for-4 from three-point range, while Justinger's 4-for-4 performance included two shots from inside and two from outside the arc.
The Falcons shot better than 50 percent in each half, and BGSU made 15 three-pointers, just one shy of the school record, in the win.
BGSU hit five consecutive shots to start the game, building an 11-3 lead by the game's first media timeout. That lead reached 18 as the Falcons completed the aforementioned 21-point run, which included three triples, a pair of jumpers and no fewer than four layups directly off of steals.
Donovan scored seven points during that 21-point surge, while Halfhill and senior Alexis Rogers scored five points apiece and Justinger four.
All nine Falcons in uniform scored at least four points in the win, and seven of the nine players made at least one three-pointer. Rogers and junior Deborah Hoekstra scored nine points, while freshman Abby Siefker had seven, classmate Rachel Konieczki six and senior Jill Stein four.
BGSU shot 52.7 percent from the field for the game. The Falcons went 16-of-32 (50.0%) in the first half, and hit 13-of-23 shots (56.5%) in the second period. BG had 22 assists on 29 baskets, with eight players dishing out at least one helper in the win. Donovan and Stein had five assists apiece, while Rogers had four and Halfhill three.
BG turned the ball over just seven times, and the Falcons forced 20 Miami turnovers, with Justinger coming up with four steals and Halfhill three. As a team, the Brown and Orange had 14 steals, and BGSU had a 34-11 advantage in points off turnovers,
Miami made just three field goals in the game's first 18-plus minutes, all from three-point range. The RedHawks did not make a two-point bucket until exactly one minute remained in the opening period.
After the Donovan three-pointer got the Falcons' scoring started, Halfhill stole the ball and threw it ahead to Justinger for a layup and a 5-3 lead with exactly one minute gone. The hosts would not trail again.
Justinger hit a long two-pointer, Halfhill knocked down a runner, and Donovan scored in transition off of a Justinger steal, and the Falcons' lead was 11-3 as Miami used a timeout with 16:39 left in the opening half.
Moments later, Rogers stole a Jillian Spurlock cross-court pass and sailed in for a layup, and Donovan came up with a steal and layup of her own. When Halfhill and Rogers knocked down shots from beyond the arc on back-to-back possessions, the Falcons' lead was 21-3 with just under seven minutes gone.
Hannah McCue snapped her team's scoreless stretch with a three-pointer at the 12:46 mark, but Matthews came off the bench and knocked down a triple try from the left side, then a long-range shot from the right side of the court, and BG was ahead by a 27-6 score.
Miami's third field goal of the half came with 8:57 left before intermission, as Nicole Anderson banked home a three-point shot. But, Konieczki finished a give-and-go play with Stein by knocking down a three from the right wing, beginning a 16-0 run for the Brown and Orange.
Donovan and Halfhill hit long-range shots during that run, while Matthews and Stein scored as well. When Siefker got to the line and made a pair of free throws, BG's lead was an insurmountable 43-9 with two minutes left in the period.
Miami's first two-point shot came on an 'and-one' layup by Kindsay Brandt with exactly one minute remaining in the half. Her free throw was no good, but Miami got the offensive rebound. After the RedHawks had scored just nine points in the first 18:59, the visitors scored five points on that possession, and BG's halftime lead was 43-14.
Miami shot just 20.8% from the floor in that opening period, going 5-of-24. The Falcons had 11 assists and four turnovers in the first 20 minutes, while the visitors had two assists and 12 turnovers.
Miami started the second half just like the first, by hitting a three-pointer on the opening possession. After Anderson's trey made it a 43-17 game, the Falcons proceeded to score the next 11 points.
Halfhill scored seven of those 11, beginning the run with a triple. Stein whipped a pass to a wide-open Donovan for a layup, and Rogers knocked down a pair of charity tosses. Halfhill capped the run with a four-point play, drilling a left-corner triple as she was knocked to the floor. Her ensuing free throw made it a 54-17 BG lead with just over three minutes gone in the period.
BG's lead reached 40 points on a three-point play by Hoekstra with 13:45 left, and the Falcons took a game-high 48-point lead on Donovan's layup with 3:04 to go. The lead reached 48 points on two more occasions, before McCue's late jumper accounted for the game's final scoring.
The Falcons had a 35-29 rebounding advantage, with Rogers pulling down seven rebounds and Matthews five. Each of the nine BG players in uniform played at least 14 minutes, but no more than 28 minutes, in the win.
BGSU is idle until next weekend, when the Falcons head to Ypsilanti, Mich., for a Saturday (Feb. 15) game at Eastern Michigan University. That contest begins at 4:30 p.m. at the Convocation Center.